Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Children's Books to Celebrate Black History Month

Visit your local Richmond Public Library to check out books and share with children the rich history of African-Americans through some of these new titles:

Two Coretta Scott King award winners partnered to create Brick by Brick.  Written by Charles R. Smith and illustrated by Floyd Cooper, this new picture book tells the story of the building of the White House beginning in 1792.  Although many immigrants were involved in the construction that was not enough manpower to do the job.  Slaves from Maryland and Virginia were hired out to assist in the project.  The author focuses on the hands of the workers through lyrical writing and gives hope that new skills will be used by free men one day.

Ellen's Broom, by Kelly Starling Lyons, is a beautifully illustrated Reconstruction story that describes a young girl's introduction to the African-American tradition of "jumping the broom."  The broom above the hearth takes on a new meaning when an announcement is made that all former slaves may have their marriage registered and recognized in the eyes of the law.
Although Ellen has heard the story of the broom and her parents marriage many times, she takes pride in participating as her parents renew their vows during this important time.
Beautiful woodcuts by Daniel Minter illustrate this recent title.

Follow the Drinking Gourd  has been published in a new, graphic format by Cari Meister and Robert Squier.  Colorful, modern illustrations fill this new retelling of the song and its importance to the Underground Railroad.  Includes a glossary and bibliography.

Ruby's Sleepover, by Kathryn White, was published in May of 2012 and is a follow-up to Ruby's School Walk.  Ruby has invited a friend to stay overnight and they are sleeping in a tent in the back yard. Night sounds, pirates, and dragons keep Ruby awake and her friend Mai snores through!  Wonderful illustrations by Miriam Latimer complement the rhyming text.  Toddlers up to elementary ages will enjoy this new book about Ruby and her adventures.

We Are America:  A Tribute from the Heart.
Walter Dean Myers and his son, Christopher Myers, teamed up to create this beautiful vision of America, and the many people who form it's multi-racial quilt. The author studied the documents that define our country and the illustrator uses references from his ancestors to create this beautiful, moving tribute. Original writing and quotes from well known Americans complement the distinct illustrations of  important moments in the history of the United States. 

From Amazon.com: About the Author

"Amar'e Stoudemire, Captain of the New York Knicks and a six-time NBA All-Star, is a well-respected professional basketball player who has left his mark on the game and the community through his award winning outreach. He is focused on creatively inspiring youth to avoid poverty through education. He is the father of three children."
Stoudemire recently published a new series for ages 8-12 titled STAT:  Standing Tall and Talented. Based on his childhood and its challenges, this series focuses on positive conflict resolution, tolerance, family and teamwork.  The first book in the series, Home Court, highlights Amar'e's home and responsibilities. The story places him in the center of a turf war on the basketball court where he uses ability to resolve the conflict.

Double Team and Slam Dunk are the next two titles.  This new series should be a hit with many boys.

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